Letter to Minister Duclos on Poverty Reduction Strategy

CPJ wrote to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Jean-Yves Duclos, to thank his government for following through on their commitment to reduce poverty in Canada, through the release of the first-ever national poverty reduction strategy. We also reiterated our request for the development of a comprehensive, rights-based and fully-funded plan that will eradicate, and not merely end, poverty in Canada.


August 22, 2018

Dear Minister Duclos,

As Chairman of the Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ) Board of Directors, I was pleased to read yesterday that the federal government is taking some concrete steps to measure and reduce poverty in our nation. As you know, this has been a project on which CPJ has been working for some years, in cooperation with other faith-based and civil society organizations.

I should like to thank you personally for taking the time to call CPJ staff shortly before publicly releasing the information about the government plan. That was a thoughtful gesture to acknowledge CPJ’s many years of work on this important issue, specifically in our collaborative efforts on the Dignity for All Campaign, supported by the Sisters of Service. Your recognition will not go unnoticed among staff and supporters.

I’d also like to encourage you personally, along with your ministry and government, to continue to press forward to take further concrete and practical action, not merely to reduce poverty, but to eradicate it.

While CPJ and I are pleased with yesterday’s announcement, I am concerned that it was made with no specific steps beyond programs that have already been established by the government. We at CPJ have advocated for the development of a comprehensive, rights-based and fully-funded anti-poverty plan for over a decade. We look forward to working with the government in achieving these objectives.

I wish to encourage your government to continue to make specific plans and goals for this worthy cause. I believe that the more Canada mitigates poverty, the more economic, emotional and spiritual benefits will accrue for this nation and all its citizens. Be assured of my prayers for you daily.


Rev. James C. Dekker

Pastor Emeritus of the Christian Reformed Church in North America and

Chairman of the Board of Directors of Citizens for Public Justice

cc. The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P.

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